CO2 emissions reduction
ArcelorMittal Europe has a target to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 and an ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050. To achieve this target, ArcelorMittal Europe has two main technological pathways, innovative DRI (direct reduced iron) and Smart Carbon, which were presented in the company’s first Climate Action Report published in June 2020. Innovative DRI involves the use of hydrogen for the direct reduction of iron ore for use in both electric arc furnaces and blast furnaces. Smart Carbon is a carbon-neutral steel production path that makes use of all clean energies (circular carbon, clean electricity, and carbon capture and storage, or CCS) in a controlled high-temperature reduction environment for the production of hot metal. In the first stage, the Smart Carbon path will basically use circular carbon, expanding to become hydrogen Smart Carbon when green hydrogen is widely available and affordable.
ArcelorMittal Asturias starts coke oven gas injection for Blast Furnace B
In February 2021, ArcelorMittal Asturias completed its coke oven gas (COG) injection project for Blast Furnace B in its Gijón plant, a strategic step to reduce CO2 emissions and operational costs thanks to lower coke consumption. Use of this innovative technology will result in a reduction in CO2 emissions of 125 000 tonnes a year, equivalent to the emissions generated by the annual consumption of 84 000 Spanish households with individual natural gas-based heating systems*.
The Smart Carbon approach, as applied in the projects that the company is working on at its European Flat Products sites, allows gases from various sources to be injected into the blast furnace. The injection of coke oven gas, with high hydrogen content, is an effective and cost-efficient method that enables steel producers to reduce CO2 emissions immediately. ArcelorMittal Asturias has completed the most advanced project in the company linked to the use of coke oven gas and has initiated the injection of grey hydrogen (hydrogen recovered from various gases, including natural gas and coke oven gas) into Blast Furnace B.
The Asturias project is based on the idea of reducing the amount of CO2 generated in the hot metal production process through the reuse of part of the gas generated in the coke oven batteries to partially replace the coke used as fuel in the blast furnace. With the same circular economy approach, the plant is finalising the work that will allow coke oven gas to be supplied to the reheating furnaces in the Heavy Plate and Rail mills, thus reducing the consumption of natural gas and the generation of CO2. These rolling mills process steel slabs and billets from the Avilés and Gijón steel plants, transforming them into heavy plates and rails respectively.
Oswaldo Suárez, CEO of ArcelorMittal’s Asturias Cluster, notes that “the injection of coke-oven gas into Blast Furnace B is an important milestone in the transformation of our processes to progress towards a more sustainable, low-carbon production model.”
*Based on a recent study by the Spanish Institute for Energy Diversification and Savings (IDAE).